Year of No Light

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Year Of No Light
Year of No Light at Droneberg Festival, Berlin, Germany (2015)
Background information
Origin Bordeaux, France
Genres Post-metal, sludge metal, drone doom, ambient, black metal, shoegazing, psychedelic rock
Years active 2001–present
Labels Conspiracy, Crucial Blast, E-Vinyl, Music Fear Satan, Radar Swarm
Associated acts Aérôflôt, Altaïr Temple, Baron Oufo, Déjà Mort, Altar of Plagues, Donald Washington, Metronome Charisma, Monarch!, Nexus Sun[1]
Members Jérôme Alban
Pierre Anouilh
Bertrand Sébenne
Johan Sébenne
Shiran Kaïdine
Mathieu Mégemont
Past members Christophe Mora[2]
Julien Perez

Year Of No Light (often abbreviated as YONL) is a French post-metal band from Bordeaux formed in 2001. For their début album, Nord, YONL drew influence from several genres, including post-rock, sludge, somber psychedelics and depressive atmospheric shoegaze".[3] The second album, Ausserwelt, was not released until 2010 after a significant line-up change in 2008 which established the band as an instrumental sextet, including two drummers and three guitarists. Ausserwelt saw the band's sound develop in the direction of black metal and doom metal while retaining a progressive, post rock feel.


Year of No Light was founded in September 2001 in Bordeaux, France by Johan Sébenne, Bertrand Sébenne, Jérôme Alban and Christophe Mora (Finger Print, Undone,...). Since its conception, Year Of No Light was never a "top priority" band but rather an instrumental side project. After one year of rehearsal, Christophe Mora left the band.[2] Pierre Anouilh succeeded him.[2] One month later, the band played live for the first time.

From 2002 to 2003, they played local shows in Bordeaux. In September 2003, Julien Perez joined the band as a singer.[2] One month later, the new line up played its first show. But Year Of No Light still remains an "active" side project, due to all the others musical activities of the vast majority of its members.

The band finally recorded a demo in June 2004. After its release, the group toured Spain and Basque Country. Following the good feedbacks surrounding the Demo (one review describing Year Of No Light as "The Cure playing Sludge"[4]), the band worked on its first album during the summer 2005. In September 2005, they recorded Nord with Serge Morattel[5] at Geneva, Switzerland. The following year, Nord was released and got good reviews.[5][6][7] Year Of No Light began to tour more often in 2006 and played at the famous Dour Festival in 2007. The same year, Nord was reissued on Crucial Blast, for the CD version, and Cavity Records for the LP.

In 2008, Year Of No Light toured Europe and played at the prestigious Roadburn and Hellfest festivals. After several collaborations with acts like Nadja or Fear Falls Burning and some splits recordings, they discarded their singer. At the end of the summer, Year Of No Light becomes a six piece entity with two drums & 3 guitars backed by some vintage synths. Shiran Kaïdine, from Monarch!, and Mathieu Mégemont, from Aérôflôt, have joined the band respectively as third guitarist and second drummer.[8]

In September 2009, the band began to record Ausserwelt in Bordeaux with Cyrille Gachet. In April 2010, following the release of Ausserwelt on Conspiracy, Year Of No Light toured Europe with Irish black metallers Altar of Plagues. The following month, the band worked on a soundtrack for Dreyer's Vampyr, and performed it for the first time, on May 28, 2010, at Barbey Theatre in Bordeaux. In February 2011, Year Of No Light played Vampyr in Tallinn, Estonia. The following months, after having recorded new stuff for upcoming splits, they toured Europe and played two sets at Roadburn: a classical gig (including the totality of Ausserwelt) and the Vampyr performance.[3]

Functioning sometimes like an open collective, Year Of No Light used to punctually be part of sonic performances in collaboration with contemporary artists. The group worked with French contemporary artist Christian Vialard for a video installation reinventing Yves Klein's Monotone Symphony. The installation can be seen during an exhibition, Le Temps de l’Ecoute, at la Villa Arson, Nice, from June 24 to October 30, 2011.[9]

In late 2014, Year Of No Light embarked on their first ever US tour, playing eleven dates. Sludge metal band Take Over And Destroy opened for the first nine shows with various other openers, booked in west coast and southwestern states. The tour then concluded with two nights at New York venue Saint Vitus.[10] The band however performed as a five-piece during this tour, with the band citing guitarist Pierre Anouilh's visa issues preventing him from touring.




  • Christophe Mora - guitar (2001–2002) (Finger Print, Undone)
  • Julien Perez - vocals, keyboards (2003–2008) (Metronome Charisma)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album[11][12] Released Format Label
2006 Nord 2006 CD Radar Swarm
2006 2xLP E-Vinyl, Atropine Records
2007 CD Crucial Blast
2008 2xLP Cavity Records, Atropine Records, E-Vinyl
2012 2xCD (Deluxe Edition) Music Fear Satan
2010 Ausserwelt 2010 CD Conspiracy
2010 2xLP Music Fear Satan
2013 Tocsin 2013 CD Debemur Morti

Live albums[edit]

Year Album[11][12] Released Format Label
2009 Live at Roadburn 2008 2009 LP+DVD Roadburn Records
2011 CD Roadburn Records
2013 Vampyr 2013 2xLP+CD Music Fear Satan
2013 CD Init Records

Split albums, EPs and collaborations[edit]

  • Karysun / Year of No Light Split 7" EP (2009)
  • Year Of No Light w/ Fear Falls Burning & Nadja (split w/ Machu Picchu Mother Future) LP (2009)
  • 3 way Split (split w/ East of the Wall & Rosetta) LP (2009)
  • s/t (split w/ Altar of Plagues) LP (2012)
  • s/t (split w/ Thisquietarmy) LP (2012)
  • s/t (split w/ Mars Red Sky) LP (2012)
  • s/t (split w/ Bagarre Générale) LP (2015)





  1. ^ a b c d "Slow Death Fanzine No. 2" (PDF). Interview YEAR OF NO LIGHT, p. 12 (in French). Slow Death. Archived from the original (fanzine) on September 1, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "". Year of No Light will play two shows at Roadburn Festival 2011: Ausserwelt album and live soundtrack to C.T. Dreyer's horror masterpiece Vampyr. Roadburn Festival. Archived from the original (website) on September 16, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kemp, Mike. "Rock Sound UK No. 89". Hot And Happening. Rock Sound. Archived from the original (magazine) on September 1, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Year Of No Light - Nord (10/10)". Metal Observer. February 4, 2007. 
  5. ^ Gnesin, John. "". Year Of No Light - Nord. Digital Metal. Archived from the original (webzine) on September 5, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ Begrand, Adrien. "Decibel No. 32". Year Of No Light - Nord. Decibel. Archived from the original (magazine) on June 1, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ Yonl. "". Same Blood, New Crew. Year Of No Light. Archived from the original (official website) on December 13, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "". Pratiques sonores et musicales sur la Côte d'Azur des années 1950 à nos jours (in French). Villa Arson. Archived from the original (official website) on June 23, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2011. 
  9. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b "". Discography. Year Of No Light. Archived from the original (official website) on April 22, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "". Discography. Discogs. Archived from the original (website) on April 22, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ Hall, C. Andrew. "Frogtown Movie". Music. Frogtown Movie. Archived from the original (official website) on February 14, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  13. ^ Ladoire, Eddie. "Rupture mon amour Exhibition" (PDF). Mademoiselle..., p. 09 (in French). Maison des Arts Malakoff. Archived from the original (pressbook) on April 6, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  14. ^ Jean Rouch. "Exhibitions, l'invention du sauvage". Before Exhibitions (in French). Musée du quai Branly. Archived from the original (website) on November 29, 2011. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]